Hidden from view …
So after spending the day chilling around Wilderness i headed to Sedgefield for a quick one nighter, an epic fail on my part. I always incorrectly assumed that Sedgefield consisted of a small town on either side of the national road to somewhere else. Hidden away is probably the best kept secret on the Garden Route, Myoli Beach.
I knew the moment i arrived at Afrovibe Adventure Lodge i had made a fubar of note. Once i had checked in, i wanted to punch myself in the face. The room, en-suite with shower head that did everything but give you a gps location, looked down the deserted beach in both directions. The Afrovibe Adventure Lodge also offers a third floor sun deck with a jacuzzi, a beach bar – the PiliPili with a fire pit that makes pyromaniacs salivate, beer pong pretty much all the time as well as self catering for chow or an in-house restaurant.
They also offer a shed load of in-house activities, which invariably involve walking onto the beach about one metre away, Kite Boarding, Surfing, Water Skiing, Canoeing, Snorkeling (Free for guests)
I was seriously bummed i was only here for one night, but i need to come back this way and i will get my chill on at Myoli Beach and the rest of the town of Sedgefield which is a lot more than a fence made of horses or cats or dogs … some animal.
It was back in the van for another short drive to Knysna, another place on the Garden Route that in the past has succumbed to being a stop for fuel, coffee and a toasty. Before i got there i made a little side trip to Buffels Bay and the Goukamma Nature reserve, another very cool place to spend the day chilling on the beach.
After checking in at Island Vibe Backpackers, i headed up o the Knysna Heads. After watching a super chilled and stunning sunset, i headed back to the backpackers and took advantage of the cool little bar for a beer or five and grabbed a warm shower in the very comfy en-suite room they had given me.
The backpackers is smaller than a lot of the places i have stayed, not that thats a bad thing mind you, the super friendly staff Bev and Craig made sure i wanted for nothing. They were also pretty handy in filtering and deciding which of the nine gazillion things you can do in Knysna. The kitchen is well equipped for making chow and as per usual i abused the coffee station, the lounge is comfy and the fireplace welcome. The outside deck has a great view of the Heads and a pool for those lazy summer days.
Island Vibe is within walking distance to just about everything you need and also offer some great in-house tours from guided hikes, canoeing on the Lagoon, Township tours and a Brewery Tour, chat to the guys working there they offer great insight as to what’s good.
I woke up the next morning and took about fours hours to get out of bed, and as lunch approached i finally started the day, first stop Noetzie Beach. It’s a quirky place, a few rich folk have built castles (wtf) to live in but the beach with the river flowing through the middle of it and the insane rock formations make for a very cool place to hang out and relax. It’s nowhere near as busy as the Buffels Bay beach so if you looking for a chilled beach day head here instead.
Dragging myself away from the serenity, i headed for the more physical part of the day … Kranshoek. Probably the coolest hike i have done since i started this trip, there’s a short version and a long version, i opted for the latter and while it was seriously strenuous it was awesome. I am fairly certain few do the long version so you get to places that probably not a lot of folks do.
If you’re unfit or not a fan of being pushed take the alternative route.
The hike traverses through teeming forest, look for Loeries, hidden viewpoints that give you a great view of the two waterfalls in the valley, small streams that wouldn’t be out of place in the hobbit or some such adventure, and as you get lower in to the valley you suddenly break out onto the coast … rocky beaches and crags, with thinning Milkwood forests.
Its at this point you can cut the hike short and head up the alternate route, i pushed on and was pushed, the hike gets a little loose at this point, lots of scrambling, steep inclines and a not to clear route that makes you wonder if you heading in the correct direction, lots of into forests and back on to rocks but the rewards are truly epic.
If you’ve got some cojones, you must do this hike. I finished after the sun had set and the moon was up. It was enthralling being the singular being in such a place of beauty and despite some cursing towards the end … i was blown away by this nature and beauty of this part of the South African coast line.
I head back to the backpackers for a much needed shower and beer before collapsing exhausted into bed and sleeping for nine hours straight . After bidding farewell to the cool folks at Island Vibe i headed down towards Plettenberg bay for another one night stop.
Between Plett and Knysna there are numerous cool things to see, the Wolf Sanctuary … although this bummed me out, i don’t like caged animals … especially when it seems to be at the whim of a few humans for their own purpose.
Check out the Elephant Park, you can walk, ride and feed these giants, there are also numerous coffee shops and crafty kind of shops for browsing on a slow meander to Plett.
Before i sign off a final note on Knysna, you can do just about everything you can imagine in this town – Adventure to culture … but if you don’t get to the forests you missing the magic of this place. They truly are epic.